Did he want to see if Lucy had any inkling of the contents inside the painting?
"Yes, we saw the painting. I can't imagine that you could have carried that monstrosity over the fence undamaged."
"It's about what's inside the painting," Lucy whispers.
"And what might that be?" I ask, stepping closer. "What do you think is inside of a painting?"
"Just what I heard the tall Italian man say. He mentioned it contained something precious."
Mikhail exhales a sigh and runs a hand through his hair. "You'll accompany her to the motel," he says, staring at me.
While I do not doubt that I can handle Lucy and a handful of Antonio's men, if they have any inkling of what the content inside the painting is worth, they're not going to let some low-level associates handle the exchange. There will be plenty of men with guns waiting to take aim if things go sour. "And what about reinforcements?"
"You needn't worry," Mikhail says. He's cautious about stating anything further in front of Lucy. I don't blame him. She kept the fact that it wasn't the painting she was after but the four million dollars inside. He grabs the stock certificates off the desk and nods for me to accompany him out into the hallway. There's no sign of the flash drive, and I assume it's in his coat pocket.
I shut the door and accompany Mikhail into the hallway, leaving Lucy on the sofa, alone.
"I don't want her out of your sight. It'll likely be a blood bath when the Italians realize that she's not handing over four million dollars."
"You're not suggesting we bring her to the motel."
"What do you intend on doing with her?" Mikhail asks. "Dmitri can't babysit her all night. I will send him out to the motel with Luka to watch your back."
"She can stay here with Hannah and Madisyn," I say. "Madisyn used to be an FBI Agent. I'm sure she can keep an eye on Lucy."
"You're suggesting my wife watch your girlfriend."
I press my lips together, refraining from commenting that she isn't my girlfriend again.
"No, sir. I'm recommending that Lucy stay with us, to protect her."
"For how long?" Mikhail asks.
I'm not sure he will like my answer, but I say it, nevertheless. "Indefinitely. Unless the mafia intends on leaving Lucy alone, she'll be a target to them."
"Why you care about this girl is beyond my understanding. When this is all over and done, fly to Chicago and bring back her son. We'll talk again." Mikhail heads back into his office, leaving me to inform Dmitri and Luka that they're about to help my ass out taking down the mafia, all for a girl.
He shuts his office door, the frosted glass making it impossible to see inside through the door. I find Dmitri and Luka and inform them of the assignment before we grab weapons and ammunition from the armory.
It will be a long night, and I don't expect the mafia to go easy on us. No, they'll expect that we're coming fully armed. Antonio was aware that I was following Lucy, and by now, they may not know where her loyalties lie. I'm not sure I'm even certain.